High adventure and derring do.
The book is narrated by the writer with embellishments including music and guest performances by Neil Gaiman and Felicia Day, amongst others. The embellishments really add to the feel of the piece.
Kushner writes full on and unashamedly queer fantasy. If that's not your cup of tea, try something else.
Lively and unpredictable
This is my first audio with several readers, plus music and sound effects. I felt like I was watching a play and it reminded me of why I enjoyed radio dramas of the past. I am already ordering more productions by Ellen Kushner.
It was a great moment when the girl defended her friend and beat the swordsman.
This audio taught me something about sword fighting and now I feel an appreciation for the art. The characters were very real and drew me into the life of their era.
The book ended rather abruptly--like the author ran out of steam or ideas.
The performances would have been better if performed solely by the wonderful narrator, Barbara Rosenblat. I don't understand why the producer thought it necessary to add all of the sound effects, multiple performers, etc. The book can stand on its own with a single performer. The gentleman who overperformed Tremontaine was especially horrible.
I enjoyed the story, without having read the previous book. The characters were complex, and I enjoyed how my understanding of them evolved over the course of the story. The main character was relatable, and I enjoyed her passion and strength. The Duke was mysterious, and well voiced.
The audiobook did something unusual by adding some sound effects in, with very mixed results. Some of them were useful in setting the scene, like the party sounds, but I HATED the metal clashing sound that they used at the opening of the sword practice sessions. That sound is what pulled my performance rating down to three stars, since it almost made me stop listening.
However, I did keep up with it and I enjoyed it in the end.
Probably, but I'd need to have quiet weekends again
Catherine, without a doubt. Even when I wanted to laugh at her or smack her for wearing her naïveté like armor, she carried the book. And her enjoyment of everything she saw and felt wasn't just part of the description of the scenes, it was her.
The Black Rose.
I don't know, but the sets and costumes would have to be very good indeed in order to live up to their descriptions in the book.
Barbara Rosenblat deserves the introduction that Neil gives her here.
I love how Kushner never lets her readers get complacent. She writes such whole, satisfying characters in part because they never quite behave like characters in a book, more like real, and unpredictable, people. Lovely, and so finely wrought. I could be content to read nothing else.
Yes. The narrators are so wonderful to listen to, and the story is one that I could sink into again.
It's a great story with intrigue, romance, and sword fighting!
I loved the narration of the Duke by Joe Hurley, because it gave a deeper quality of likeability to the character. And this was my first time listening to Barbara Rosenblat, and she has become one of my favorite storytellers. It was like she knew the book through and through and gave seamless dynamics in telling the story.
Absolutely! So entertaining.
This is another reason to trust Neil Gaiman Presents recommendations.
Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.
This story was an excellent follow up to Swordpoint. This isn't exactly a follow to the same story, it's a new story with some of the same characters. Equally awesome as the first book though. I can't say it's a better book because it isn't an extension of the same story really, it's about the "Mad Duke's" niece becoming a swordsman. (swordswoman?) Anyway, this story kept me completely engrossed. I look forward to more, and the narration and background sound were fabulous. Really puts you there.
The best thing about the story was how all the characters lives were weaved together.
The least favorite things was use sparingly used guest narrators. It was billed that Felicia Day was narrating the voice of Lady Katherine -- but she wasn't the character's voice in all the chapters of the book. Same with the other guest narrators.
It broke up the continuity of the book and was distracting to the content of the book.
I hope next time when they bill someone as narrating a character, they narrate the character in every single chapter.